Jade Festival 2016 Permit denied due to Soberanes Fire

I will keep all informed as to the decision of the Jade Festival Committee, which is meeting on the 8th. It has been suggested that the Festival be postponed until Spring. I don’t know what they will decide, but will let everyone know when I do. I know this is a disappoitment to many, but given the circumstances, I concur with the USFS decision in this matter. Generally, campers are all up and down Plaskett, Willow, and Nacimiento, which cannot be allowed this year. While the Soberanes is predicted to be contained by 9/30, I think we all know better. It has remained at 60% containment for over 3 weeks now, and is steadily moving south, closer and closer to the South Coast of Big Sur.

From Monterey District Ranger Tim Short addressed to me, the SCCLT, and Gordon Pfiffero, the Superintendent of Pacific Valley School:

“1. The active Sobranes Fire continues to expand in a southerly direction within the big box containment line. Although current containment projections are for September 30, this incident could burn well past this date depending on conditions. In either case it will continue to require full commitment of local USFS resources.
2. A district wide closure order was implemented to help reduce the risk of another human caused fire start given our extreme fire conditions that is a result of multi-year drought, low fuel moistures, significant fuel loading etc. We must continue to do what we can to avoid another human caused fire in addition to the current incident.
3. Given the existing district closure and assuming existing conditions continue into October, there will be no camping available for the public outside of the existing concessionaire operated developed campgrounds.
4. Managing the Jade festival does require a level of agency cooperator support such as law enforcement and fire patrols. Given the current emergency fire situation for which USFS and cooperator resources are stretched, this effort would further strain that limited capacity.

The USFS annually supports this important event and assists through the permitting process. However, at this time, based on current conditions and due to reasons described above, we unfortunately cannot issue a permit. Thanks for everyone’s cooperation and understanding through this challenging period. We all are looking forward to a return to some level of post fire normalcy.”

Soberanes Fire, Day 48, 9/7/2016

5 pm – here is a photo of the firing operation behind Anderson Peak by Cordelia Cluett:


Great photo, Cordelia. Thank  you for sending it.

Noon – from a resident of Partington Ridge: “I spoke with one of the firefighters this morning and they are headed back to Partington today because they are going to try and back fire a small area behind Partington that didn’t burn before…”

10:30 am – still  having trouble uploading maps, but did at least get the link for South Ops up, and finally showing enough of the south that I am in there. Here is the daily report:

The fire is still 2 1/2 miles south and west of Tassajara. Fire retardant is being used from the air to help manage the fire. Smoke plumes are visible from Tassajara, but the air quality in the Valley is good.
Total acres: 101,490
Acreage increase: 511
Containment: 60%
Total Personnel: 1,196
Temperatures are expected to be hotter today, with highs in the Interior of the fire expected in the 100-degree range. High pressure is moving inland, bringing moderated southwest winds over the fire area. The southerly winds could produce visible smokes for residents on the north end of the fire.
Fire is burning actively to the east along Zigzag Creek (picture below) and above the Willow Creek drainage. Fire is mainly moving through the heavier brush and dead fuels from the Basin Fire of 2008. Easterly fire growth on the ridge between Zigzag and Willow creeks is expected. This is creating short-lived columns of smoke visible from Tassajara and Highway 1.
There is some fire activity around Black Cone Mountain and the Willow Creek headwaters. Some fire activity south of the North Fork of the Big Sur River continues to spread as slope and fuels line up. Managers continue to monitor fire spread, hold and improve control lines and assess proximity and thread to indirect control lines.

6:30 am – this morning’s maps are being difficult and do not want to upload. Will be uploaded when cooperation is achieved.


IR Map in PDF



South Ops Map in PDF

If possible, I will load the weather and fire behavior discussions from the IAP: